Manassas residents will be hosting barbecues out in front of their homes as an opportunity to get to know each other and, as a result, try to make the neighborhood a safer place.
Between 6:30 and 9 p.m. Tuesday, residents of Manassas are invited to turn on their porch lights and mingle as part of National Night Out (NNO). Already, more than 100 communities in Virginia are registered to participate.
"NNO is a time when neighbors come together and take a stand against crime in their neighborhoods," said Manassas City Crime Prevention Specialist Adrienne Helms. "The event sends the message to criminals that Manassas neighborhoods do and will continue to fight back against crime. It also raises safety and drug awareness and strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, which is directly in line with Chief Keen’s Community Policing initiatives."
The events in Manassas all have a unique character of their own, since each community is responsible for its own activities, according to Helms. Some communities will hold cookouts and provide games for children, information and free hand-outs, while other communities will participate, along with police and fire officials, in demonstrations and neighborhood walk-throughs.
Sumner Lake will have a walk-through around the Tillett Loop beginning at 7 p.m. at the neighborhood community center, located at 9939 Nash St.
Point of Woods East/Lakeside will have their cookout on Point of Woods Drive from approximately 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Georgetown South’s event will be held at the community center, located at 9444 Taney Road, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The community walk will begin at the community center at 8 p.m.
Gov. Bob McDonnell's Secretary of Public Safety Marla Decker will be attending NNO in Manassas, as well as Manassas City Mayor Harry J. Parrish lll.
In 2011, Herndon won an award for the quality of the community’s National Night Out program, including organization and planning, participation and results. (See coverage of .)
This nationwide event began in the 1970s as a way to get people out of their homes and meet each other with the common purpose of making communities safer by raising crime prevention awareness.
More information on National Night Out is available at www.natw.org/nno.
-- Patch’s Adam Swart and Joan Dentler contributed to this report.